Some welcome rain is on the way for portions of parched and fire-weary California this week.
The first significant rain and snow of the season is expected in Southern California beginning Tuesday, which will bring some relief from the state's abnormally dry conditions, the Weather Channel said.
More than 81% of the state is considered "abnormally" dry, including a small percentage in the first stages of drought, according to the most recent U.S. Drought Monitor. That's up from only 18% a week ago.
The monitor points to above-normal temperatures and a lack of precipitation six weeks into the current water year that started Oct. 1 as a reason for ballooning dry conditions.
The start of the wet season typically also goes hand-in-hand with the conclusion of the fire season across the West, AccuWeather reported.
Meanwhile, in Alaska: It was an unusually warm day in Anchorage – then it snowed a record amount
Up to an inch of rain is possible in both Los Angeles and San Diego this week.
As rain falls across Southern California on Wednesday morning, motorists can expect slick roadways and a slow commute, the National Weather Service said.
Another downside: If the rain is heavy enough, mudslides and debris flows could pose a threat to lives and property in areas where wildfires have charred the ground earlier this year, warned AccuWeather.
In addition to Southern California, showers and thunderstorm coverage will also increase Tuesday afternoon and evening across Arizona, New Mexico and southern Utah, the weather service said.
"Locally heavy rainfall rates may result in flash flooding Tuesday night into Wednesday, especially across central and western Arizona where 1-3 inches of rain are forecast through Wednesday afternoon," the weather service said.
Snow is likely in the higher elevations of the Sierra and Rockies.
One area that will likely miss out on beneficial rainfall is much of northern California, according to AccuWeather. A heightened fire risk is likely across central and northern California Tuesday night through Wednesday as dry and gusty Diablo winds develop.
Overall, however, despite the abnormally dry conditions across the state, California's reservoirs are in good shape: "From a hydrologic perspective, despite below-normal precipitation during the past 60 days, nearly all of California’s major reservoirs are currently at or above historical averages for this time of year," said Deborah Bathke of the National Drought Mitigation Center.
Contributing: Joshua Yeager, Visalia Times-Delta; the Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: California weather: Rain forecast for Los Angeles, San Diego